Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadian readers who are (hopefully) celebrating a lovely long weekend today. My mum and I had a lovely Thanksgiving feast on Saturday night complete with turkey, roasted brussels sprouts, butternut squash, sweet potatoes, and a bunch of other Thanksgiving fixings but those were the highlights for me! It was nice to relax and unwind for a bit, especially after an intense week at work. Did any of you do the same?
We were also watching the Ironman Kona World Championships on TV and I was completely mesmerized by the pros that were competing this year. The girl I had favourited to win, Mirinda Carfrae (last year’s champ) did indeed win on the women’s side after making an epic comeback on the run. Guys, if I could look even half as good doing a mile as she did in the final minutes of the marathon, with nearly 140 miles of swim, bike and run behind her, my life would be complete. What a rockstar! Were any of you geeking out like me?
As you may remember, I recently ran a reader feedback survey. I really wanted to hear what you guys think about the content I’ve been posting, and just as importantly, I wanted to learn more about each of you. Your responses were fabulous, and as promised, I’d like to share some of the results with you today. They’ve confirmed the changes that I’ve been contemplating for a while, so read on to find out all about them!
How long have you been a reader?
Looks like most of you aren’t strangers to this little corner of the internet, and for anyone who’s new, welcome! (If you haven’t done so already, you can subscribe to posts via email here, and get an e-book to get you started out on the right foot with clean eating too!)
How would you describe your eating style?
This one surprised me a bit because I figured a lot more of you were vegan and vegetarian! Most of the recipes here on the blog are naturally gluten-free because I have a sensitivity to it, and I’ll often provide meat-free substitution ideas for those of you that are vegan and vegetarian. You can expect just as many clean eating recipes in the future, and I know (based on one of the other survey questions) that time is of the essence for many of you so easy-to-make, fairly simple ones will be a big focus.
What do you think about the length of posts?
Good to know! I’m aware that the Try Something New Tuesday Recaps can get pretty long, but I have a solution for this coming right up…
What are your favourite things to read about?
It figures – you guys like food, just like me! I’ve learned through your comments in this survey that you guys have varied interests – some of you are competitive athletes that really love training and workouts, whereas others tend to skip that material and read mostly the nutrition and recipe-related content.
What do you want to see more/less of?
Well jeez, thanks for giving me some really conclusive data on this one, guys. 😉 Just kidding. Like I said, it’s clear that you’re a varied bunch, and I’m just thrilled that I can be interesting to all of you! I’m going to break this section out in order to explain what will change, what will stay the same, and why.
Clean Eating, Recipes and Nutrition
It seems most can’t get enough recipes and love learning about nutrition, which is great because that’s what I love to talk about. There won’t be too many changes here – if any, I’ll be bringing you even more recipes and meal ideas than usual. Now that I’ve got a better grip on your dietary preferences, I’ll likely focus on more recipes and meal ideas that cater to clean eating in general with vegan and vegetarian options. Lately there have been a lot of vegan and vegetarian ones, and while I know there are many of you who enjoy that, you can expect a larger variety of chicken and fish recipes over the coming months.
Regarding videos, I’ve done a few how-to’s in the past (like the one for my juicing series) and this is something might do more of in the future for a variety of topics. I don’t love watching myself on video (does anyone?!) but practice makes better, right?
Workouts, Race Recaps and Playlists
Feelings are mixed about workouts – some of you are super loyal to the Fit Bit Friday posts, so loyal in fact that you email me if I miss one! Others aren’t so keen, and this is why I like to add in things like a workout song or a variety of fitness-related reading from around the web. Some of you asked for more playlists, and I’m going to take that suggestion on. You can expect to see more playlists in the future, conducive to any type of workout whether you’re at home, at the gym or travelling.
Race recap wise, again, a handful of you love these and say they’re super inspiring, whereas others aren’t stopping by for that reason. You won’t be seeing much hardcore training or racing action until the new year because I’m currently taking an off-season, but when spring comes around, you can expect to see some race recaps, more so in the context of new experiences as I venture into the world of triathlon. Don’t worry fellow racing enthusiasts, these will not be going away. After all, if I’m not running and cycling, my blog title wouldn’t make very much sense, would it!?
Try Something New Tuesdays and Product Reviews
I’ve got to be brutally honest, guys. We’re in the 200’s as far as Try Something New Tuesday recaps go, and after 4 1/2 years, some weeks they’re not as exciting to write. I don’t want to be talking about new products and things unless they’re truly worth talking about, and really, some weeks I just don’t have time to go and seek out something new. Having said that, I absolutely DO love telling you about things that you might enjoy so expect to see those carrying on.
Another thing I have to be honest about: Blogging is not a big income stream. While it seems that there are a lot of very talented people in the US who blog full-time, there are a number of factors that seem to limit the opportunities for Canadians to do the same. I blog on the side because I love food, fitness, and sharing my enthusiasm with all of you, but it’s far from being expense-free. There’s fees for hosting, domain registration and security, plugin subscriptions, email service subscriptions, ingredients for recipe development, and more. To cover these, there are ads, occasional product reviews and sponsored posts, and my karma jar. I’m very selective with the brands and companies that I partner with for sponsored posts, and for every 1 product you see me talk about, there are about 10 that I say no to.
So here’s the deal: I’ve decided that not every Wednesday will be a Try Something New Tuesday Recap, (We’re talking BIG earth-shattering decisions here, folks) but will still include a recipe of the week. Sometimes when I have a new recipe and another new thing to tell you about, the posts get reeeeeallllly long. So instead, you can expect some Wednesdays to be a recipe AND a new product, app, food, fitness class, restaurant, etc. (On a side note, I’m going to come up with a new name for these because on many weeks, the new experience doesn’t actually happen on Tuesdays.) But on others (like this week), it’ll be a recipe only with a bit more of a story. This brings me to my next point…
Day-in-the-Life, Personal Stories and Struggles, and What I Eat
Many of you said you wanted to learn more about me, what a day in the life looks like, how I manage my full time job and blogging and health coaching, and what I eat on a daily basis. I’ve stayed away from “here’s what I ate today” posts because I’m pretty sure criticism and judgmental comments will be inevitable. I’ve seen other bloggers do this, only to receive very harsh comments from onlookers that don’t know them, and these comments don’t benefit anyone. People often forget that a day in the life is just that – a single snapshot, not what you do every single day. Don’t get me wrong – I want to know what you guys have to say, but I’m going to stay away specifically from what-I-ate posts for the reasons above.
What I get up to on a daily basis and personal stories on the other hand, I am more than happy to write about and am actually quite surprised to hear that many of you are interested. I’ve certainly dealt with my fair share of issues that don’t make it to the blog and am a million miles from perfect. Hopefully some of you who deal with the same things will relate (clearly, lots of you also deal with the big bloating issue too!), and maybe we can even learn a thing or two from each other.
Alright, that’s enough for now! I’m going to head off and enjoy the rest of this long weekend, likely dig out my fall clothes and put all my summer gear away (as I shed a tear), and head to the gym for a workout. I hope you also have a fabulous day, and Happy Thanksgiving again to everyone celebrating. Regardless of whether or not you are, I’m truly thankful for YOU!